Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Supernatural 'Repo Man'

Sam and Dean Winchester fight demons and Lucifer in the latest episode, 'Repo Man.' The action begins four years ago when the Winchester brothers were tracking down Lilith and trying to avert the apocalypse. 'Repo Man,' which aired Feb. 17 on the CW, has Sam and Dean Winchester on an old fashioned demon hunt and murder mystery. The Winchester brothers have demonically possessed Jeffrey tied up in chains and bound to a chair. It turns out Jeffrey (Russell Sams) has been a busy boy with the brutal serial killing of women.

Normally the Winchester would exorcise the guy and be done with it, but this demon has information on Lilith and they need answers. While the demon taunts Dean in the guise of Jeffrey, the unpossessed version of Jeffrey seems like a decent guy and appears horrified at the killing. Unfortunately it's not that simple. Dean has to beat up Jeffrey pretty bad to get the intel before they send the demon back to Hell.

Four year's later we discover Jeffrey is in sorry shape. After the demonic possession and nasty beating, he lost his job and was considered crazy when he tried to tell the truth of what happened that night. Jeffrey comes back on Sam and Dean's radar when a brutal string of bloody murders crop up with the same emo as the demon. They think the demon might have "repossessed" Jeffrey to relive the good old bloody days.

Jeffrey seems bewildered and frightened when the Winchesters return into his life as he seems to be getting his act together, complete with getting a new dog. It being Supernatural, 'Repo Man' takes a nasty and awful turn. Sam Winchester finds out more about the victims and discovers there was a heavy dose of tranquilizer in the victims' bodies. That raises a red flag as a demon has incredible physical strength and wouldn't need to sedate his victims to overcome them. Meanwhile Lucifer appears as a nagging hallucination to Sam. Lucifer offers to "help" Sam and even points out important clues to the case.

Meanwhile Dean Winchester spends some quality time with Jeffrey, which perhaps is not the best move considering Dean beat Jeffrey to a bloody pulp four years ago. Jeffrey seems more than willing to help and even guides Dean to the demon's old lair. Not surprisingsly that lair is a dark and creepy abandoned warehouse. Dean discovers a man tied to a chair much the same way the Winchesters bound demon-possessed Jeffrey. Perhaps Dean should have seen it coming, but Jeffrey sneaks up and stabs a huge hypodermic needle into Dean's neck and injects him with a tranquilizer. Dean is out for the count.

Sam Winchester freaks out when Dean doesn't pick up on any of his cell phones and is forced to work the case with hallucination Lucifer. Sam pays a visit to Nora Havelock (Nicole Oliver). It turns out Nora's son was kidnapped by Jeffrey and that's why Nora gave Jeffrey the demon summoning spell. Nora also gave Jeffrey some demon-related info before her son was kidnapped. What isn't clear is why Nora even gave Jeffrey anything regarding demons in the first place.

Sam Winchester gets Nora to whip up a tracking spell and they find the creepy warehouse. In a bizarre turnabout, Jeffrey admits he liked being possessed and the demon gave him the guts to launch his bloody serial killing career. Jeffrey wants his demon pal back and completes the summoning spell. There is one problem, the demon possesses Nora's kidnapped son instead. Jeffrey pleads for the demon to take him, but it's no go. The demon is just a "talent scout" and Jeffrey has already reached his full potential.

In a rushed conclusion, the demon is sent back to Hell in short order with an exorcism spell. Jeffrey is also sent to Hell post-haste with a bullet to the head after he tries to attack the Winchesters. This is the second human, not monster killing in two weeks, although it can be argued a serial killer is as horrible a monster as any ghoul, vampire or shapeshifter. What doesn't make sense is the episode is why Jeffrey feigned horror at the killings when the Winchesters first captured him. Wouldn't Jeffrey fight the interrogation and the exorcism if he wanted to keep his demon friend?

The real climactic ending, however, is when Sam and Dean return to their scuzzy avocado-colored motel room. Dean settles in for a deserved rest while Sam sees the hallucination of Lucifer appear. Lucifer gloats with a smile, "No nap for you Sam." Sam tries to banish the hallucination by pressing at an old scar on his palm, but it no longer works.
"I believe you've let me back in," Lucifer says gleefully and laughs.
Next Sam sees his bed consumed with hellfire. Sam's pupil's also glow red, perhaps as his memories of Hell threaten overtake him.

The 'Repo Man' is an excellent episode that is made even better by Mark Pelligrino's absolute delight in tormenting Sam as Lucifer. While I wasn't too much of a fan of Pelligrino's Lucifer during the apocalypse arc, Pelligrino's hallucination Lucifer is a delight to watch. The trap Lucifer set in starting as a distraction to Sam, then acting like a petulant, insistant child in the library was fun and added a levity to a very dark and heavy episode. Jared Padalecki and Pelligrino have a wonderful chemistry, which also was evident in 'Hello Cruel World.'

''Repo Man' definitely has an old fashioned feel, much as last week's 'Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie.' The Winchesters are off to fight a monster and are united in a common goal rather than fighting each other. The return of the series' roots seems an improvement rather than a setback in the story arc.
The next episode, "Out with the Old," will air on March 9 on the CW.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

SyFy "Face Off" with the 'Triple Threat'

"Face Off" is beginning to play hardball with its latest episode 'Triple Threat,' which aired Feb. 15 on SyFy. The cliffhanger teaser that aired last week had McKenzie Westmore enter the backstage studio where the contestants sat exhausted after the judging on 'A Dangerous Beauty.' Westmore announces to the contestants their job is not over. In 'Triple Threat,' it's revealed that another challenge awaits the exhausted contestants. A lineup of gorgeous supermodels are presented on the stage and the contestants are to tone down their beauty, making them plain or even ugly.

The contestants had to create a backstory to the characters they were creating with wardrobe, hair and makeup to match. The creations included a drug addict complete with prosthetic track marks, a librarian with a nose cold and ink stains on her fingers and an actress turned prostitute.

The winner: Rayce for his librarian. They liked the backstory of how the librarian had a red nose from having her nose in the books all the time and the ink stains on her fingers.

The next challenge takes place a day later. Westmore presents the contestants with several pairs of twins. Their task is to age one twin to age 75 and the other twin to 100. While the teams are busy sculping prosthetics, Westmore has an additional surprise - the twins are in fact triplets. The third triplet is to be aged to 50 years old. While RJ is applying the prosthetic to his model, she has an allergic skin reaction. RJ loses valuable time as they bring in another model. RJ discovers the model's face is much smaller than the previous one. He has to do a fast patchwork job cutting off the excess mask and gluing it to his model.

The creations:

Beki, RJ and Heather - They worked off the premise of an overweight black woman who loses weight and becomes emaciated over time. The judges were the most critical of this team. Glenn Hetrik criticized Beki's creation (the 50 year old) for the high edges and the mask-like plastic look of the face. Heather's 100-year-old woman was blasted for looking more like a zombie. RJ was given kudos with his 75-year-old for the solid makeup job and for his improvisation with the model replacement.

Sue, Tara and Matt - They decided on a aging gangster theme. In a complete reversal, Sue was praised for her details in the 100-year-old gangster with the wrinkles and wardrobe choice. Matt was criticized for placing a balding cap on his model's full head of hair, creating a cone-head effect. Matt's 50-year old was called a chia pet crossed with a werewolf. Tara's 75-year-old was mostly approved of, but the long hair wig was cited as distracting.

Jerry, Ian and Rayce - They went with the aging hippie look. In a suprising turnabout, Jerry was complimented not once but twice during the contest. The judges liked the coloring Jerry applied to his 100-year-old hippie chick. Meanwhile Ian was ranked at the bottom of the barrel for his 75-year-old for the different colors in the paintjob between the head and the neck. Rayce's 50-year-old wasn't sunburned enough and the makeup made his model look more diseased than old.

Winner: Sue for her wrinkled 100-year-old gangster turned Benjamin Button style.

Loser: Heather for her poor paint job and makeup application that made her 100-year-old black lady look more like a zombie.

My take: I was surprised at the swift turn about with Sue. From last week's bottom of the barrel to the top, Sue truly had a dizzying ascent. The fact Sue hasn't won any of the previous contests makes me think this is more a flash in the pan than a real trend for her. Beki's terrible plastic-like mask on the 50-year-old black woman was surprisingly awful for the talented sculptress. A part of me thinks Beki was punished this week by the judges for her lack of loyalty and blaming Sue for last week's botched spider creation.

The 'Triple Threat' episode was one of the least interesting episodes of  "Face Off." The creations weren't that imaginative as they were transforming beautiful young models into old geezers. The show also is getting dirty with driving the contestants to work exhausted after the judging for 'A Dangerous Beauty.'

Next week's episode, Alien Interpreters, will air at 9 p.m. CST Wednesday, Feb. 22 on SyFy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

SyFy "Face Off" with 'A Dangerous Beauty'

SyFy's Face Off's fifth episode, "A Dangerous Beauty," opens with Sue mourning Brea's recent departure last week while RJ tells Beki he feels his father is watching over him from heaven. The first Face Off challenge comes quickly with the contestants being led out to a nature preserve where their models are awaiting them. The challenge is to create makeup inflicted by a werewolf attack. Sam Huntington, who plays a werewolf on SyFy's Being Human, is the guest judge.

The winner: Beki for the depth of wounds and the ample use of gore.
The contestants are then led back to the studio where they are shown different animals and plants. The next challenge is to incorporate a dangerous animal with a beautiful plant for a creation both gorgeous but deadly. The whole scenario is a bit gimmicky with wolves and a leopard wrangler while a white rhino is revealed in the next room after a dramatic pause for commercial break.

Most of "A Dangerous Beauty" shows not one team steering blind, but several as they struggle with the limit of time and inconsistent direction. Beki's immunity proves a point of contention as Sue wants to add texture to their spider creation while Beki wants to go for a sleek costumed look. In perhaps the poorest decision-making and most unstunning creations yet in Face Off, the winner of "A Dangerous Beauty" wasn't chosen so much for outstanding design as the other creatures proved much worse.

Heather and Rayce - Water Monitor Lizard / Firestick creature. While the judges were impressed by the detailed lizard face and the rock star flaming firestick "hair," the toga pants were a flop.

RJ and Ian - Chameleon / Orchid lady slipper monster. While an odd choice, this was strongest creation in the group. The judges were impressed with the incorporation of both orchid and the lizard elements. The team also benefited from a strong presenation as the model opened his petals and revealed a deadly sharp-toothed lizard monster.

Beki and Sue - Spider / Bird of Paradise monster. The judges were shocked at how awful the creation turned out, which was further tainted by Beki blaming Sue for adding texture to the spider and "ruining" their creation. Even with Beki's added immunity, it seemed a cruel move to throw Sue to the lions. Beki may be one of the best, but you don't want her on your team.

Athena and Tara - Tree boa constrictor / Stargazer lily creature. The judges noticed the stenciled spray paint on the model. The lily and snake elements didn't blend well between the green scales and red flower parts. The underwear that showed through the paint was shockingly bad.

Jerry and Matt - Leopard / Yellow iris. Their final creation looked like a cat lady wearing a tan bikini. She also was sporting some funky cat head shoulder armor that looked like it belonged to another creation. The only vestige of the iris was in the form of a big green leaf plastered on the cat lady's back.

The winning team: RJ and Ian for melding plant and animal elements effectively and the cool effect of having a lizard revealed beneath the flower petals.

The winner: RJ for the concept and design of the plant animal.

The loser: Athena for her poor painting skills the judges felt hadn't been demonstrated in the last three challenges, which they felt were subpar.

My take: Beki and Sue's creation wasn't as bad as the judges deemed it to be despite the fuzzy spider texture and the bird of paradise leg appendages. Athena and Tara's model showing his underwear beneath the body paint was bad although the paint job wasn't horrid. I found Jerry's and Matt's cat lady the most lackluster of the group with just a big leaf attached to her back while she strutted in a bikini. Amazingly Jerry wasn't on the bottom of the challenge for once this week. Although the Jerry curse wasn't in effect (that anyone with Jerry gets voted off), Matt definitely has done better and could have done better without Jerry.

Next week's Face Off will feature old age makup and will air at 9 p.m. CST  Wednesday on SyFy.

For more reviews, check out .

"Supernatural" Review - Dean is the baby daddy in 'Slice Girls'

In Supernatural's latest episode "The Slice Girls," Dean Winchester finally is the baby daddy; the bad thing is the baby happens to be a monster. Dean Winchester's dreams of having a family comes with a cruel twist when his one-night fling produces a baby daughter - in one day. It turns out Dean's latest hookup is a descendant of the legendary Amazon warriors who were turned into monsters by their patron goddess, Harmonia.

While Dean is dealing with monster-daughter family issues, Sam Winchester investigates a string of murders where married men have similar one-night stands. Once Sam discovers that Dean is in danger of becoming the next victim, it becomes a race to save Dean's life before he meets a bloody end.

Perhaps the coolest twist in "The Slice Girls" is the story arc of Dean's daughter, Emma, who seems to fight her destiny of becoming a murderous monster. Emma (Alexia Fast) shows up at Dean's door, pleading for help in escaping the Amazons and her fate. Alexia Fast does an excellent job in the role of conflicted Emma who is both desperate and angry at her father.

Dean must decide if Emma is telling him the truth or if he has to kill his own daughter. At that point Sam shows up and takes the awful choice out of Dean's hands by killing Emma in a similar fashion Dean killed Sam's girlfriend-turned-monster in The Girl Next Door.

"The Slice Girls" is an interesting episode and stand alone from the Leviathan arc Supernatural has been taking in its 7th season. The episode seems rushed, cramming in a lot of exposition on the Amazons, their evil goddess Harmonia and why the Amazon descendants continue to mate with, then kill, the fathers of their offspring. The direction is heavy handed and very jarring with the hard cuts and extreme closeups when Dean is picking up his date-from-hell in the Cobalt Room.

While it seems cruel to see Dean's only flesh-and-blood daughter killed, Dean seems oddly unaffected despite his heart-to-heart chat with Sam afterward. Sam, likewise, appears even colder with his "I know she was your daughter, but she also was a monster" speech.

This week's episode Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie appears to be a funny episode and perhaps a welcome departure from the heaviness of the current season. At Plucky's, Sam Winchester will confront his worst fear yet - clowns.
Supernatural airs at 8 p.m. CST this Friday, Feb. 10 on the CW.

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Review: "The Woman in Black" a dark ghost story

"The Woman in Black" is a gothic ghost story in the truest sense: Old abandoned spooky house, lots of dark corridors and an evil family secret buried years ago. The movie opens with heart-broken widower Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) grieving for his beloved wife who died four years ago in childbirth. Kipps buries himself in work and grief to the detriment of his son whom he rarely spends time with. Kipps is sent on a mission by his boss to collect papers from a secluded country estate where the last survivor, an elderly widow, died leaving no heirs.

What follows is a creepy excursion to a mansion, known as the Marsh House, which is situated in a lonely mist-covered swamp. The mansion is a character in itself filled with bizarre and scary knick knacks such as taxidermy monkeys, freaky dolls and mechanical windup toys that clatter and bounce in the middle of the night.

Radcliffe gives a solid and commanding performance as the distraught and lost Arthur Kipps. Anyone who believes Radcliffe can only play Harry Potter should watch "The Woman in Black." This movie is almost a one-man show with Radcliffe spending long periods of time at the abandoned mansion facing shrieking ghosts and countless things that go bump in the night.

Movie spoilers follow. Stop here if you want to be surprised.
After Kipps sees a woman veiled in black in the family cemetery, children start to die horrifically. One girl poisons herself with lye. Another girl burns herself to death. Each time the Woman in Black shows herself, children go into a trance and commit suicide. Kipps discovers among the old papers left in the mansion that the family of the Marsh House adopted a boy who was taken from his insane mother. After the boy drowns in a swamp, the insane mother kills herself and vows to kill the rest of the town's children.

In perhaps the most exciting part of "The Lady in Black," Kipps dives into the swampy mud and tries to retrieve the body of the drowned boy, whose corpse was never was recovered. Kipps hopes if the boy and the insane mother are reunited the murderous Woman in Black will be at rest.

Serious spoilers about the ending:
What follows is surprising as it is disappointing. It turns out the Woman in Black remains firm in her vengeance and continues to kill. The final death count has a brutal twist. The Woman in Black lures Kipps' own boy out on to the railroad track as an oncoming train rushes toward him. Kipps races out on to the track to save him. When Kipp opens his eyes, his dead wife is waiting for him on the track. The now deceased Kipps and the spirit of his dead his four-year-old son follow Mrs. Kipps into the afterlife.

The audience's reaction in the theater was somber and obviously unhappy with the ending. Although the ending was a surprise, to have Kipps go through so much trouble to stop the murderous ghost only to be killed (along with his four-year old son) by the Woman in Black seems pointless and cruel.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Face Off" creates Night Terrors

The fourth episode of the Face Off series, "Night Terrors" begins with a cell phone ringing at 3 a.m. Brea answers it and a creepy voice orders her to get dressed and wake the others. They have 15 minutes to get ready and be out the door.

The contestants are brought to a creepy abandoned hospital where McKenzie Westmore shows a list of phobias painted on to the hospital wall. Each contestant is to choose one of the phobias. Some of the fears are so obscure and bizarre it's impossible to discern what they are until the meaning is revealed to the contestants.

After the contestants pick their phobia, they have 15 minutes to go to a secluded place at the hospital armed only with a flashlight and a pad of paper. They are to sketch their design of the horror villain they were to create based on the phobia.

While Beki has an instant vision of her creature, Parasitophobia (fear of parasites), Tara struggles in developing a concept Ommetophobia (fear of eyes). Jerry flounders with his creation for Electrophobia, first with wasting time trying to get the blinking lights to work, then recasting a mask that proves to be too mushy to use in the final makeup.

Hadephobia (fear of Hell) - While Sue's concept was very cool, the final creature moved in too many directions with the skull-helmet, a demon mask, braids, a few swipes of paint across the chest and a skirt.

Parasitophobia (fear of parasites) - Beki's strong vision and quick work created an impressive woman infested by parasites and a parasite-creature unto herself. The multiple lamprey-like teeth and the chest piece with protruding worms was embellished with a beautiful irridescent paint job.

Ondontophobia (fear of teeth) - Never-do-right Ian finally struck the nail the head with his tooth fairy demon. Nasty teeth protruded everywhere, embedded in the skin and the face. The slimy hands and wrinkly torso (created by plastic wrap) impressed the judges and made Ian's tooth demon very creepy.

Merinophobia (fear of being bound) - Athena created a backstory that her horror villain was raped as a child and now she strangles men who want to "play with her." The rope-wrapped hooker was a bit freaky, but the paint job was poor, especially on the swollen, bruised side of the woman's face. Athena also lost points on the ribcage and poor use of anatomy.

Cryophobia (fear of frost) - Rayce created a frost ghoul that had a face of gnarled, cracked ice. While the creation was cool, Rayce lost points on the edges popping up and revealing skin at the neck. The frost ghoul also needed sparkle or the glisten of ice.

Xerophobia (fear of razors) - Matt went with the stale theme of a mad doctor with Freddy Krueger razor glove and an odd pair of goggle eyes. Matt finished the look with a big saw blade on the right arm and a bloodied smock. Been there, seen that in many horror movies. Next.

Electrophobia (fear of electricty) - Jerry's cockiness was almost his downfall (again) when he decided he didn't like the pink in the original mask and decided to recast it to a fleshtone color. The new mask was too gooey and Jerry ended up using the pink mask anyway. His paint job was slopped together, the mask looked unrealistic and the mad doctor had no burns from the electricity. Boring and a very Halloween-like creation.

Chemophobia (fear of chemicals) - Brea also went into this challenge cocky and her chemical-burn victim creature suffered for it. The face turned into a bloody, pustule mess with chipmunk cheeks and teeth poking out in the wrong areas. It looked more like a burn victim than a villain.

Ornithophobia (fear of birds) - Heather created an odd creature wearing a bird skull with a couple of feathery friends poking their beaks out from his abdomen. The feathers across the back were kind of cool, but the bird props were cheesy and silly-looking.

Ommetophobia (fear of eyes) - While Tara had difficulty creating her creature, she developed an idea of an Egyptian goddess on the second day. Her creation also benefited from lopping off the half of the mask-like face. Overall a cool piece that Tara admits would have been better if she had a clearer direction earlier.

Xerophobia (fear of dryness) - Matt's creation with the teeth pulling back from the dried out face was a cool effect. This sort of creature, however, has appeared in dozens of previous horror movies such as Hellraiser. The creature also would have benefited from protruding ribs, dried-out, brittle skin and emaciated hands.

The winner - Ian for his brilliantly creepy tooth demon
The loser - Brea for her mushy chemical-burn victim.

Next week "A Dangerous Beauty" will air at 9 p.m. CST Wednesday on the SyFy channel
Check out my previous Face Off reviews for Rock Your Body, Water World and Return to Oz.

Kiefer Sutherland's "Touch" off to promising start

Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland, aired a tantalizing preview of the series last week. Sutherland plays a widowed father, Martin Bohm, who has an 11-year-old autistic son, Jake. Bohm struggles to make ends meet while raising Jake, who never talks and spends his days obsessively writing numbers in notebooks and climbing cell phone towers. The cell phone climbing incidents lead social worker, Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) to take Jake away from Bohm and to a child care facility.

While Touch could end tragically, Jake starts showing an uncanny ability to predict events through his sequence of numbers, starting with the millionaire lotto ticket. The patterns continue across the globe, touching lives in Japan, Kuwait and India. Danny Glover makes an important appearance in pointing Bohm in the right direction. It seems Jake has a gift and is able to see the cosmic pattern that connects us all, past, present and future.

Touch can be heavy-handed in tugging at heartstrings and can strike some viewers as too sentimental. A grieving father whose only pictures of his dead daughter are on a cell phone he’s lost (which somehow doesn’t have cell phone backup). That one little cell phone also travels the globe from person to person and manages to make a talented but unknown singer an overnight star and saves a boy from becoming a suicide bomber. Improbable? Perhaps, but this show requires viewers to make a leap of faith.

The ending of Touch is a bit rushed. The fireman’s rescue of the children from a doomed bus isn’t shown on camera and the information is relayed to viewers via a news report. Too much time was spent on the wannabe-comedian boy turned terrorist by dire circumstances. That plot thread would have done better later in the season once the introductions were out of the way and the characters established.

Touch is created by Tim Kring and is reminiscent of the pilot of Heroes where people across the globe are miraculously connected by their sudden uncanny superhero abilities. Sutherland gives a moving performance as a distraught father hoping for some meaning to his personal tragedies.

Touch promises to be an interesting show that has the potential to get better as the season progresses. Touch just has to not fall too far into sentimentality and improbable coincidences that seem stretched or forced.
Touch will air at 8 p.m. CST March March 19 on Fox.

For more TV reviews check out my Examiner website.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Face Off" contestants rock their bodies

In a series that continues to get better, SyFy channel's Face Off episode "Rock Your Body," presented equally daunting tasks compared to last week's underwater episode "Water World."
The first challenge kicked off with the contestants entering a warehouse. Four models stood before them with sunglasses. Beneath each pair of shades, a model wore contact lenses they would base their prosthetic, makeup job around.

The contestants were grouped into teams of three with each member playing tag-team and finishing where the last team member left off. The challenge had mixed results.

Green Alien - Beki, Rayce and Ian perhaps had the strongest creation with their model wearing mottled golden contacts, a pointy chin, built-up forehead and green skin. The alien looked frightening and totally convincing given the short time frame.

Zombie - RJ, Matt and Athena had strong makeup, but this quickly was ruined by the ridiculous yellow paint-ladened hair. Their zombie looked like it had a nasty run-in with a paintball machine. Ve also disagreed on the red-yellow contacts melding well with the zombie concept.

Star Princess - Perhaps the weakest of the creations, Brea saw a pair of star-patterned blue contact lenses and instantly thought of Star Princess. Unfortunately Brea only had time to put on long eyelashes and glittery eyeshadow, leaving team mates Heather and Tara struggling to share her vision.

Demon - Also a strong creation, Jerry, Miranda and Sue created a demon with a red face, painted on veins and a bloody, tooth-rotten mouth based on the black contact lenses their model wore.

Winner: Beki for her strong foundation on the green alien.
The next challenged involved painting a cover for Asher Roth's new music album based on the theme "Is This Too Orange?" The goal was to work two nude models into pre-determined billboard designs. One model was to blend into the background while the second interacted with the scene.

Park Bench with Cup - Ian and Miranda struggled to figure out how to transform a bench with a cup sitting on top of it into an engaging work of art. In the end, the work proved lackluster with one model blending into the hedges while reaching for the cup. The second model was a girl on rollerskates listening to music.

Elephant Skateboarding - Sue and Heather chose a very quirky approach with one model being given elephant ears and offering a peanut to the skating elephant. Funny and cool concept, but perhaps it proved too strange to gain the judges' favor.

Pool Scene - RJ and Athena went with the chakras theme. RJ's blend of his model with the pool was superb. Athena's 60s bikini girl had too much white paint on her and was strange-looking with painted chakras and an odd stylized makeup job.

Hanging Noose in a Barn - Beki and Rayce veered a little from the concept of blending the first model completely into the ominous barn scene background. The second model was a glowing, fiery figure trying to pull the first model from the dreary environment. The woman's tiger makeup and the concept was something you would see in an art gallery and is my personal favorite.

Concrete Wall - Jerry and Tara missed the mark when they had both models blend into the boring gray brick wall. The first model "tagged" the second one with orange paint. The airbrush paintjob was so thin it showed the model's ass. The judges found the composition a wasted opportunity with little contrast between the models and background.

Wall of Sneakers - Perhaps the most difficult background, a wall of a hundred sneakers awaited Brea and Matt. Although the team seemed cursed with challenges, this team rose to meet them. Matt created a stencil and air brushed, then handpainted each sneaker on to his model's body. Brea painted a basketball player with jersey and shorts, but faced a terrible setback when her model passed out from dehydration 17 minutes before the end of the challenge. She ended up having to repaint a new model, working 12 hours straight to get the paint job done for the judging.

Winners: Brea and Matt with Matt winning special kudos for his superb blend job of the sneaker wall.

Losers: Miranda for her inadequate paint job and poor blend of the hedge/park bench man.
Next week's Face Off contestants will create the perfect horror villain.

Face Off airs at 9 p.m. CST Wednesday on SyFy Channel.